Magnesium Deficiency: Symptoms and Practical Solutions
Like many people, you may have never considered whether you have a magnesium deficiency.
But in spite of our collective devil-may-care attitude, magnesium deficiency remains a very real and widespread problem.
As such, there’s never been a better time to address the magnesium deficiency symptoms plaguing your body.
Why Magnesium Matters
If you’ve never countenanced the possibility of being magnesium-deficient, you probably haven’t looked too closely at magnesium either.
Did you know, for instance, that muscles contain around 27% magnesium and bones around 60%?
Precious few nutrients are as beneficial to us. In fact, none of our cells could function without it. Magnesium is responsible for well over 300 biochemical reactions and is the mineral most vital to the production and storage of ATP, the energy-rich molecule known as the ‘energy currency of life.’
It is not an exaggeration to say that the entire circulatory system relies, in one way or another, on the presence of magnesium.
To understand the scope of magnesium’s role in our biochemistry, and therefore gain an understanding into why magnesium deficiency is worthy of concern, we need only consider its actions in the body.
Magnesium contributes to:
• A reduction in tiredness and fatigue
• Electrolyte balance
• Normal energy-yielding metabolism
• Normal functioning of the nervous system
• The maintenance of normal bones
• The maintenance of normal teeth
• The process of cell division
• Normal muscle function
• Normal protein synthesis
• Normal psychological function
By no means is this list exhaustive; magnesium impacts many other aspects of health including blood pressure, nerve transmission, enzyme activation and immune function.
According to a 2016 study, increasing dietary magnesium intake is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, heart failure, diabetes and all-cause mortality.
The highest concentrations of magnesium are found in the most metabolically active organs: the heart, liver, brain and kidneys.
Unsurprisingly, even a moderate shortfall can negatively impact these tissues. Plainly, we must take action when magnesium deficiency symptoms arise.
5 Common Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
Fatigue is undoubtedly among the most common symptoms of magnesium deficiency – but because it’s an indicator of many other conditions, it’s rarely diagnosed as such. How many prescriptions have been written for fantasy problems standing in for magnesium deficiency?
In simple terms, energy production requires magnesium; if you’re feeling rundown – physically or mentally – it might well be a sign of magnesium deficiency.
2. Muscle Cramp
Cramps, soreness and persistent tension in the muscles? Yes, these are all widely-noted magnesium deficiency symptoms. The painful symptoms occur most often in the legs or feet, although they can also affect the back, shoulders, chest and neck. Facial tics are another classic clinical symptom.
3. Poor Sleep
Insomnia is a well-documented result of latent magnesium deficiency. Like lethargy, the potential for insomnia to be attributed to something other than magnesium deficiency is high – so many restless sleepers remain puzzled as to the root cause.
Magnesium helps the brain’s GABA receptors function at 100%, and it is this neurotransmitter which permits the brain to settle into a restful state. Ergo: when the body’s magnesium levels are low, getting a good night’s sleep becomes difficult.
4. High Blood Pressure
One of the worst magnesium deficiency symptoms is high blood pressure – and there is a mountain of evidence to support this. The latest research, a meta-analysis of 34 previous trials totalling over 2,000 patients, supports the conclusion that regular magnesium supplementation can significancy reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure, in addition to elevating magnesium levels in the blood.
5. Clouded Thinking
Magnesium deficiency symptoms are certainly varied, but the consequent effect on the brain is fundamentally unsurprising. Clouded thinking and disorientation can often result from a lack of magnesium – and conversely be rectified when magnesium is digested.
If your mind’s foggy, increasing your blood magnesium levels could reintroduce some clarity.
Of course, there are many more symptoms to watch out for. Deficiency can manifest itself as a loss of appetite, numbness, severe thirst or hunger, nausea or personality changes.
Severely low magnesium levels, meanwhile, can trigger a glut of cardiac rhythm abnormalities, the worst of which don’t bear thinking about.
Why is Magnesium Deficiency Rife?
Throughout the past half-century, we’ve witnessed a general decline in the mineral content of soil and, by extension, in vegetables harvested in this nutrient-sapped soil.
The erosion of soil is a direct consequence of intensive, yield-driven agricultural practices.
Thankfully, the organic method of production preserves soil in such a way as to procure higher level of minerals. Organic produce in the form of vegetables, as well as meat from animals who feed on the plants, therefore contains more minerals than non-organic equivalents.
Soil quality isn’t the only factor. Digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease and celiac disease can hamper our ability to absorb magnesium. Furthermore, those suffering from type 2 diabetes are prone to losing more magnesium than normal through urine.
Indeed, magnesium deficiency is virtually synonymous with diabetes.
Our dietary choices deplete magnesium levels too, with caffeine, sugar and carbonated beverages among the worst offenders. Stress and mineral imbalances (i.e. excess calcium) can also hinder our ability to utilise magnesium.
How to Get More Magnesium in Your Diet
If you want to avoid magnesium deficiency symptoms – and let’s face it, why wouldn’t you? – the solutions are relatively simple. For one, you can make a point of eating magnesium-rich foods, ideally from organic sources.
These include Brazil and cashew nuts, sesame and pumpkin seeds, leafy green vegetables, brown rice, mackerel, crab and halibut, avocados, apricots, black beans and dark chocolate.
You can also invest in a magnesium supplement like Magnesium Citrate - a combination of magnesium and citric acid which is readily absorbed into the blood stream and body tissues. These capsules of magnesium citrate are produced in the UK and contain no magnesium stearate or unnecessary fillers.
Thirdly, you might consider drinking mineral-rich water. The Biocera Alkaline Antioxidant Jug uses advanced bioceramic technology to transform ordinary tap water into filtered water containing minerals like magnesium and tourmaline.
Sipping mineral-rich water throughout the day will bring you closer to your RDA.
According to magnesium therapy expert Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., a sufficient intake of the mineral can bolster heart health, thwart stroke and obesity and enhance mood and memory.
Dr. Dean set out the case for greater magnesium awareness in her book The Magnesium Miracle. “I’m convinced that to get enough magnesium today, you need to take supplements,” she said.
Don’t endure magnesium deficiency symptoms: you don’t have to. Set about increasing your levels of this magnificent mineral today.